ORANGE BEACH — The split between Orange Beach schools and the Baldwin County Board of Education moved ahead Monday, May 23, when city school board members signed the formal separation …
ORANGE BEACH — The split between Orange Beach schools and the Baldwin County Board of Education moved ahead Monday, May 23, when city school board members signed the formal separation agreement.
The agreement calls for the separation to take place July 1.
Robert Stuart, president of the Orange Beach City School Board, said he was pleased to reach the point where the agreement could be signed.
"It's refreshing and exciting to get here," he said. "We're getting a lot done and for us to be at this point where we're signing and getting to the point where we'll have control over our own destiny is great."
The Orange Beach City Council voted March 30 to form a separate school system by July 1.
Under the terms of the agreement with the county school system, Orange Beach will pay the county $13.41 million for the Orange Beach Middle and High School complex, including the Performing Arts Center.
The Orange Beach School Board will also pay more than $3.09 million for improvements at Orange Beach Elementary School and take over payments on $2.52 million in bonds for the elementary school, according to the agreement.
The agreement also calls for students who attend Orange Beach schools, but who live outside the city limits to have the option to continue to attend Orange Beach schools. The Baldwin County School System will transport students from outside the city to Orange Beach.
Students who live in Orange Beach, but who are attending the South Baldwin Center for Technology and Aviation Center will be allowed to continue to attend those facilities through graduation in May 2024. Orange Beach will receive state funding for those students, but will pay Baldwin County a fee to allow the students to attend the county schools.
Under the agreement, Orange Beach will keep the computers assigned to schools, but some MacBooks assigned to teachers will have to be returned to Baldwin County by June 30, Lance Alexander, city information technology director, said Monday.
He said some programs and licensing leased to Baldwin County cannot be transferred to Orange Beach. Alexander said county information technology workers have offered to help with the transition. However, some programming systems now being used are licensed to Baldwin County. Orange Beach city and school officials are working to acquire licenses and programming for computers in time to start the new academic year.